Penn Hills senior takes ‘easy to coach’ attitude to college volleyball ranks

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Sunday, November 13, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Hard-headed wasn’t the word Amiera Smith was searching for. But there was a time the Penn Hills senior felt she could have had a better attitude about playing volleyball.

As she prepares to head to Central State in Wilberforce, Ohio, next season, the Indians senior has seen herself morph into a player who could work with anyone.

Smith, who also plays club volleyball, is open to playing whatever position in college but will likely bounce between middle and right-side hitter.

“I’ve been told by my coaches I’m easy to coach,” Smith said. “When they give me one thing to do, I’m able to do it automatically.”

What drove Smith to try new things was a love for volleyball. That served her well with the high school team this season.

Having a willingness to do whatever it takes was at the core of the Penn Hills team this season. The Indians finished section play 5-7 to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Penn Hills then got tripped up by Knoch in the preliminary round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

Indians coach Jay Mitlo said after the loss that Smith was part of a strong class.

“I think they were driven by a common goal,” Mitlo said. “They were a selfless team that featured six seniors, including four players who started at least three years.”

Smith landed at Central State after looking into a number of schools within a five-hour radius of Penn Hills. She was able to find out more information about what life was like on the Marauders’ campus thanks to a Penn Hills graduate.

Alain Tamo-Noche plays on the men’s team and was able to give her some insight.

“Honestly, I forgot he went there,” Smith said. “He reached out to me and told me what it was like. I was in love with it, the size of the campus and everything.”

Central State is an HBCU that competes in the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Smith will be looking to help turn the program around. The Marauders finished 4-27 last season, including a 4-15 record in SIAC play.

Smith said she is still working on what position she will play in college. She will continue to play club volleyball over this summer to solidify her spot.

“I’ll play anywhere,” Smith said. “I’ve been moved around a lot and I’ve played everywhere since I started playing when I was 12 or 13.”

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